Student Profile – Miles Meijer
In each issue of Keywords, we profile one of the many student assistants who help make the Middlebury Libraries run smoothly. This issue features Miles Meijer, a Circulation Desk Student Employee and cross-country athlete.
How did athletics become a part of your life, and more specifically, running cross-country?
Growing up near the San Francisco area, I played soccer through my sophomore year of high school, and I ran cross-country and track all four years. My parents always encouraged my brothers and me to maintain healthy lifestyles, so they pushed us to experiment with different sports to see if we would like any of them. We also rode in family bike excursions, Thanksgiving road races, and we attended various sporting events around my house. From an early age, athletics and staying healthy has been an important part of my life. One piece of advice that my high school cross-country coach would say is that running requires consistency if you want to excel at the sport. I have tried to keep those words close to heart over the course of my running career, even when it feels hard to maintain a strict training regimen. I first became interested in distance running during my years playing soccer. In soccer, I found out that I enjoyed being a player who covered a lot of distance on the field over the course of the game. When I entered high school, I joined the cross-country team. Joining the team was almost out of feelings of obligation because my older brother was already on the team, and had mentioned my brother and me to the coach. After a season however, I realized that I really enjoyed the sport and I was not bad at it, which made me want to continue improving to see how far I could go.
How did you develop a disciplined regimen with your roommates this past summer in town?
It was relatively easy to remain dedicated to training this summer because all of my roommates this summer are on the team. This means that we all hold each other accountable for putting in the work and we always have people to run with. We fell into a routine of working out after everyone finishes work, which is convenient for everyone.
Did you maintain a strict diet and sleep routine? Do you run on earth or pavement?
Summer typically is a time where it can be hard to stay motivated with training. Since we are not doing much (or any) racing, there are not as many opportunities to see any tangible gains in fitness. With that being said, it was helpful to have my teammates around to push me on the days where I really didn’t feel like running. I try to eat as healthy as possible and get as close to eight hours of sleep per night, but there is not strict schedule that my coach enforces. I prefer running on trails and we are lucky to have the TAM to run on, but there are also beautiful dirt roads in the area that are an excellent substitute.
During the college semesters, does your athletic commitment ever cause a conflict with your academic workload?
While running on the team is a big commitment, I have never found it to be overwhelming. I like to tell people that I am a student-athlete, in that order. I have found it very possible to balance both of those things, as well as other commitments. My professors have all been very understanding of times where I needed to miss class for some athletic commitment and my coach has been very understanding when I need to miss practice for some academic commitment. I’ve found that having practice every day gives some structure to the day, which helps me organize the work that I need to do. I’m a religion major, which means I typically have a lot of reading or writing, but again, being an athlete does not preclude me from balancing my academic and personal commitments.
Did your interest in sports influence your decision in selecting your major in Education?
Not at all, nor did I feel as if my choices of major were constrained by my participation in athletics.
Are many of your campus friends sports enthusiasts or athletes?
My closest friends are on the team, mostly by virtue of the fact that we spend a lot of time together pursuing a common interest. However, because there are so many wonderful people who go to Middlebury, I have good friends off the team as well, who participate in all different activities on campus.
Do you have a fond space on campus in which you can relax or “unplug?”
Even though it’s an academic building, my favorite spot to go is the top floor of Munroe. I sometimes will get a classroom on the top floor to watch a movie or a T.V. show on one of the screens. There usually aren’t a lot of people up there, which means it’s a pretty quiet spot.
Since sports in general is a huge American pastime and competitive industry, will you integrate sports into your future career?
I am not sure yet. As of right now, I want to go into teaching, so I guess there is a possibility that I could be a teacher-coach. At the very least, I will maintain a healthy and active lifestyle as I go off into the professional world.
Thank you, Miles. We wish you a fulfilling senior year at Middlebury, as we anticipate a most enriching career next May.